A domain aftermarket is a great thing for end users. Business owners spend hours, days and weeks researching their physical and virtual “business property” but, in general, don’t place the same value on arguably their most important virtual asset – their domain name. Regardless of whether you are an established business or you are just starting out, a premium domain name is one of the biggest assets within your business.
The Premium Domain Aftermarket
Whilst many businesses will check the availability of their domain name, they may not be aware that the domain name, whilst registered, may be available either now or in the near future for sale on the Domain Aftermarket. Netfleet is Australia’s No.1 Domain Name trading platform and more aftermarket .AU domain names are bought and sold on Netfleet than on any other platform worldwide. Same is Domainlore.uk for UK markets.
Rewards and Risks
Aftermarket prices must have substantial profit to account for the significant risk of keeping the domain name parked. Those who hold these domain names have taken substantial risk that the domains will not sell at all, or if they do sell it may be for a loss.”
The vast majority of domain names never sell. Ever. The price charged for those that do sell has to be large enough to make up.
Domains are Created
Domains (obviously not all types) should be regarded as no different than other creative works in art or literature. As such, domain investors are similar to those that invest in struggling early career artists. Many domain investors are themselves ‘domain artists’. Domains are not just any combination of letters or words, but a sequence that meets certain aesthetic and marketing needs. Many of the same principles such as simplicity, elegance, functionality and impact that apply to product design are equally relevant to the design of a strong domain name. Ideally, even a made-up word hints at the nature of the business while not boxing in the future directions. Whether made-up or not, the domain name optimally evokes positive emotions in a memorable way.”
The simplest domain transaction is an outright sale. Here the domain is usually listed for sale and people either accept the price or make a counteroffer. Offers can be made directly, or you can use a domain broker to negotiate for you.
In fact, there’s nothing stopping you from making an offer for a domain that’s not listed for sale, and such offers are made relatively often. For example, if the domain you want isn’t available, GoDaddy’s Domain Buy service can appraise the domain you want, and then try to negotiate a price with its owner on your behalf.
Equally common is the domain auction. If you’ve ever used EBay then this will seem very familiar. In domain auctions, domain names are put up for sale to the highest bidder. Auctions can sometimes have reserves a minimum sale price set by the domain owner that must be met for the auction to result in a sale. All bids placed are committal if you win the auction then you’re required to buy the domain so don’t bid unless you’re sure!
Domain backordering can be a much cheaper alternative to buying a domain outright or in auction. The only problem is that you can’t always be sure when you’ll get your hands on the domain — or sometimes if you’ll get it at all. Essentially, some registrars will let you order a domain that isn’t for sale yet. When the domain’s current registration term comes to its end, the registrar will then try to register the domain for you as soon as possible.
There are some variations on this method. For example, some registrars will hold auctions for domain backorders, and then try to register them for the highest bidder.
Where to Begin
When you want a domain, the first thing to do is use Instant Domain Search to see if your domain is available. If it’s already registered and you want to try to purchase it, head to GoDaddy and some of the other providers listed above. Start by checking the domain auctions and sales — they’re often listed together on the provider websites. Keep in mind that different providers often feature different domains, so you may want to check a couple of these. If you don’t see your domain listed, then you can try a domain backorder or hire a domain broker to make an offer for you. You may not be able to purchase the domain in the end, but if you choose a service that only charges for successful domain acquisitions then you’ve got nothing to lose.
The domain aftermarket is fast-paced, but also user-friendly. As long as you spend a little time researching the domains that you want, including their value and when they expire, you can be a savvy domain investor or pick up the perfect address for your website. And don’t forget that the domain market is like any other — there’s always a risk involved, but the profit potential is virtually limitless.